UH's lifestyle and entertainment magazine - by students, for students

Graphic by: Len Duenas

Deciding what to make and eat every day as a college student can be quite daunting. There are so many things to consider: whether we have the ingredients needed, whether it takes too long to make and most importantly whether we have the right appliances to do some culinary magic.

Most residence halls on campus only have a fridge, a sink and if lucky, a microwave. With these restrictions, the quest to curate some appetizing and nutritious meals becomes a daily challenge for a lot of students.

In this article, we’ll explore a vast array of dorm-safe recipes designed to suit the constraints of living in a residence hall on campus.

Microwave Egg-Fried Rice

Yep, you read that right! Even if you don’t have a stove, you can make egg-fried rice in a microwave. Egg-fried rice is a relatively healthier meal to make and tastes delectable.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: two cups of instant microwave rice, one cup of mixed vegetables, two large eggs, two tablespoons soy sauce, one teaspoon granulated garlic, half a teaspoon of five-spice powder, one stalk green onions, a pinch of salt, one teaspoon sesame seed oil (optional) and sesame seeds for garnish (optional).

Pro tip: If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, replace the soy sauce with tamari instead.

The recipe suggests not setting your microwave at full power to avoid overcooking the rice. It also advises to keep mixing the rice throughout the cooking process to ensure each grain is evenly cooked.

You can find the detailed step-by-step instructions here! The recipe is meant to serve two people and if you have all the ingredients prepared in advance, it doesn’t take too long to make. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

No-Bake Microwave Quesadillas

If you love Mexican food but don’t have an oven in your dorm, don’t worry because you can fulfill your cravings by making quesadillas in the microwave.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: two flour tortillas, one cup of shredded cheddar cheese, one can of black beans and readymade salsa.

All you have to do is place a tortilla in the microwave with your shredded cheese and beans on top and cover it with another tortilla so it becomes like a sandwich.

Microwave for one minute, slice it like a pizza, add the salsa and it’s ready to eat!

The good thing about this recipe is you can add or remove toppings according to your preferences. You can also have fun and serve the quesadillas with other dips on the side!

Greek Yogurt Parfait

If you’re craving a little healthy snack during the middle of the day or want a delicious breakfast meal, you can always rely on a scrumptious Greek yogurt parfait!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: three-fourths cup plain Greek yogurt, one-fourth cup mixed berries, one-fourth cup readymade granola and honey or maple syrup for drizzles.

You can make this by layering the yogurt and fruits which is so easy to put together.

The best part of this recipe is that it only requires a fridge to store the parfaits, and this way, you can make some in mason jars ahead of time to easily grab a bite before leaving for class. How convenient is that?

Loaded Hummus Pitas

If you enjoy Mediterranean dishes, you will certainly enjoy a loaded hummus pita as your next lunch! 

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: half a cucumber, one cup cherry tomatoes, one-fourth of a red onion, eight kalamata olives (or any olives of your choice), one tablespoon chopped parsley, two ounces crumbled feta cheese, four pitas, one cup hummus, two teaspoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

This recipe creates four pitas, so you can share some with your roommates as well! You only need a chopping board for this recipe to chop all the vegetables. Making these pitas is very easy. After you chop all the vegetables, you spread hummus on the pitas and garnish them with the vegetables, crumbled feta and olive oil. Simple and sweet!

You can customize the vegetables based on your availability and tastes. Additionally, you can make your own hummus at home if you have a blender. If not, you can always buy creamy readymade hummus from the grocery store.

Cilantro Lime Rice

If you have a community floor kitchen that you can use, you can try making some tangy cilantro lime rice with the help of your roommates and make it a fun activity for all to try together!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: one cup rice (whichever you like), one-third cup of cilantro, one teaspoon of red pepper, half an onion (white or red) and two cups of vegetable or chicken broth.

You can find the detailed step-by-step instructions along with a video tutorial here! You can accompany your fresh rice with any gravy or other sides to elevate it further. This recipe has some nutritional value as well which is always a bonus.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

From time to time, we all have sweet cravings to fulfill. Luckily, making easy and rich mug cakes in the microwave is the solution for all those cravings.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: three tablespoons of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of granulated sugar, one and a half tablespoons of cocoa powder, one-fourth teaspoon baking powder, three tablespoons whole milk, one and a half tablespoons vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and one tablespoon peanut butter.

Mix all the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and whisk until it’s all combined.

Microwave the batter for around 70 seconds and enjoy!

Once again, you can replace the peanut butter with other flavors that you like, whether it be Nutella, lotus biscoff spread or even Oreos and chocolate chips. You can make it just the way you like!

By now, you should have a few new and uncomplicated recipes to try out in your dorms. Have fun and feel free to add your own creativity into them! Happy Eating!

[email protected]

About the Author

Related Posts

All photos by: Oscar Herrera Walking around campus, you’ll likely see many students with an...

Have you ever wondered why people avoid you on your walk to class? This webcomic highlights...

Photo by: Raphael Fernandez UH has a number of students living on campus at various residence...